We've done creative Bar Mitzvah centerpieces for many years for a variety of themes. We often create centerpieces for a "Favorite Things" theme, where each table reflects a hobby or interest of the celebrant.
For this event, we had a fun and challenging opportunity to make centerpieces for a very sweet boy with autism. He has a diverse set of hobbies and favorite things, including travel, chocolate, gymnastics, penguins, Dr. Seuss, and much more.
We learned a lot about designing decor and lighting for an autism-friendly event. Here are some key points that made this event a success:
• Light Levels: The overall light level in the room should not be too low. We used colored uplighting around the room to introduce color, and pin spotting to highlight the centerpieces. We also used the in-house lighting, which was dimmable, to create a light level that's comfortable but not too bright.
• Kinetic Elements: Each centerpiece should be safe to touch and interact with. When children communicate less verbally, they experience things more kinetically. We chose elements that were safe to touch and play with, and included moving parts to make the centerpieces more experiential. The guests loved walking around each table, taking in the details that make each centerpiece special.
• Color and Variety: We used a wide variety of colors to make the tabletops festive and fun, and more appealing to children. Traditional centerpieces are often very cohesive, and we went in the opposite direction to make them as individually unique as possible.
• Creativity: His interests were not only unique, but also very specific. For example, he loves one specific type of interactive fountains. They're the kind you find at boardwalk amusement areas where water comes up from holes in the ground. We used a variety of materials to convey this concept without using water. We thoroughly enjoyed finding ways to visually represent these interests.
We so enjoyed the opportunity to create such meaningful decor to celebrate a family's very special day. We look forward to participating in autism-friendly events in the future.
Here are more photos of our centerpiece creations:
A huge thank you to Rich Schaub Photography for sharing such great photos.
Location: Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple • New Brunswick, New Jersey
Planner: Joan Glenn, 6 Degrees of Celebration
Photography: Rich Schaub Photography
Centerpieces, banners, room decor and lighting: Eggsotic Events • New Jersey & NYC